Volunteer Infurmation

Volunteers are the lifeblood of GHHS.

GHHS relies almost entirely upon volunteers. Thank you for your interest in volunteering!

By joining the GHHS team of dedicated volunteers, you’ll build strong relationships with other like-minded volunteers, the animal-loving community, and of course, the animals themselves.

Volunteers are integral to the success of GHHS and touch every aspect of our operations. Joining the GHHS volunteer team is fun and easy!

How would you like to serve?

Volunteers can fill a variety of roles, such as guest escorts, dog walkers, feline socializers, cleaning, and thrift store sorters and pricers. You can volunteer in as many areas as you’d like, or focus on one particular job.

By agreeing to volunteer, you understand that GHHS cannot be held responsible for damages of personal property or injuries. This includes but is not limited to animal bites, wear and tear of clothes, vandalism, and all accidents or injuries.

Please Note:

All volunteers under the 19 years of age will be required to provide a parental consent form prior to volunteering.

All volunteers must attend a volunteer orientation prior to being hands-on.

Additional training is required for specific jobs and will be discussed at orientation in detail.

Have questions about volunteering?
Find your answers in our FAQ below!
Our every day volunteers. Not ordered to complete community service.
Serving with community! Learn more about our group volunteering opportunities
For those individuals seeking to complete required service hours at GHHS.

Paws for Reading is back!

Paws For Reading is a reading program designed to enrich the lives of the dogs and cats in our care. Reading to a non-judgmental audience (like animals) has been proven to boost reading skills and confidence. The animals also receive the benefit of socialization and quiet human behavior. Children and adults are invited to read to our animals. Children (6-15 years of age) can participate as long as they are accompanied by a parent. Volunteers (16 years of age and older) can participate without adult supervision.

Paws for Reading is held Monday trhu Saturday from 10am – 3pm. Families will be able to sign up for an hour time slot (2 families per hour). Reading takes place in our Cat Room (an open roam room) and in front of our outdoor Dog Kennels (weather permitting).

As of 1/1/23, PAWS for Reading is asking for a freewill donation of $1, per person, cash only.

This cost will help offset the cost of paper, ink, chairs and books. We appreciate your support and look forward to reading with you soon!

Students (16+ and older) may volunteer as “P4R Guides” and they will be tasked with completing a volunteer orientation, greeting families, helping them pick out a book and get situated in the correct spot, helping socialize (and reading if needed), answering any general questions and making sure GHHS rules are followed

paws for reading

Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

We ask that volunteers commit to at least 5 hours per month during a 3 month period.

Volunteers are scheduled Monday through Saturday between 8am-5pm and on Sunday from 8am – 4pm. Volunteers are also scheduled at off-site after hours events.

Volunteers are encouraged to purchase a GHHS T-shirt ($15). We understand that you may not always be able to wear your GHHS Shirt to your volunteering shift. You will be sent home if you are not dressed appropriately.


  • Closed-toe shoes (non-slip & tennis shoes are best!)
  • Plain shirts without writing (remember that you are representing GHHS so no personal saying/beliefs)
  • High School/College shirts (represent your school with pride!)
  • Sport Teams (we kind of think it fosters a sense of community…and a healthy rivalry!)
  • Sleeveless Shirts (no racerbacks or spaghetti straps)
  • Shorts (must reach as close to your knees as possible)
  • Closed-toes shoes (preferably with a rubber sole) or mud/rain boots
  • Tattoos/Piercings/Colored Hair (the animals don’t care and neither do we!)

Not Acceptable:

  • Jewelry (we don’t want animals to snag your jewelry and break something you love and/or hurt yourself)
  • Open-toed shoes

An orientation with a  GHHS staff member or lead volunteer is necessary prior to volunteering. This orientation will be approximately 30-45 minutes in length and cover the GHHS mission, history, and services along with answers to questions new volunteers may have. Orientations ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers, and animals. We want everyone’s experience to be PAWSOME!

Additional trainings such as dog walking class will be scheduled as soon as possible based on schedules and weather.

All volunteers are required to complete the Volunteer Onboarding Process. Orientation and training will not only provide an understanding of our mission as well as a description of the numerous volunteer positions available, but it will also provide invaluable and necessary information on animal communication & behavior, animal handling methods and shelter protocols.

There is always something to do at GHHS! These opportunities will be discussed with you in-depth during your interview to find the best match for you. 

Yes, students are welcome to apply!
Yes! Please refer to our Group Volunteer Section for more information.

Volunteers 13+ may volunteer with their parent/guardian (must be present with child at all times) in most activities except for Dog Handling.

Volunteers 16+ may volunteer by themselves but must have a signed Parental Consent Form.

Dog handlers must be 16+ and complete the GHHS volunteer orientation and hands-on dog handling class.

Yes! Everyone must complete the Volunteer Onboarding Process, but can be scheduled during the same volunteer shift. Please do not bring any unauthorized visitors with you while you are volunteering.

Our latest pawsome news

As you join our community to give animals second chances in our area, stay up to date with our latest news & events through our blog.

Thank you for joining us at our first Designer Bag Bingo!
An 100 Envelope Campaign to raise $5,050 to support the GHHS medical fund, Pitch-In Pets.
In 2023, GHHS went Back 2 Basics. Discover our impact in the community and learn how we advocated for animals in need in North Alabama.
We are extremely grateful for the support during the 2023 Holiday Season for our Tinsel Tails campaign! We raised over $11,611.25 for the animals for GHHS, together!
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with GHHS!
We're always seeking dedicated volunteers and hopefully you have had a chance to review our website and social media to gain a sense of GHHS' mission.
Please carefully consider the following before submitting your Volunteer Application:
  • Dog handlers must be 16+ and complete the GHHS volunteer orientation and hands-on dog handling class.
  • Volunteers 13+ may volunteer with their parent/guardian (must be present with child at all times) in most activities except for Dog Handling.
  • Volunteers 16+ may volunteer by themselves but must have a signed Parental Consent Form.
  • The Paws For Reading Program is open to all ages!
  • Volunteers seeking Community Service Hours are allowed (with the exception of felony, violent, animal abuse charges).  Community Service Volunteers will be directed to help with the needs of the organization under the GHHS leadership team. It is not guaranteed that community service members will be hands-on with animals.
  • We suggest that volunteers seeking veterinarian experience contact veterinarians to gain the appropriate experience as we do not have medical volunteer opportunities
  • Volunteering with a group? Close this window and scroll to the bottom of the page for more information on Group Volunteering.
  • Love puppies? We all do! If you are interested in interacting with the GHHS pups, please confirm proper procedures with the animal care staff or lead volunteer for the safety of our pups!
Thank you for helping GHHS further the animal welfare & rescue cause!
Group Volunteering

Thank you for your interest in group volunteering! GHHS always has a need for volunteers, and we love organized group efforts.

Groups may volunteer Monday – Friday, 10 am – 4 pm (excluding federal holidays). We unfortunately cannot schedule groups for Saturdays. Groups may volunteer for up to 2 hours.

Due to our small building size, we can only accommodate groups of up to 12 people. Volunteers under 19 years old must have a signed Parental Consent Form. Due to insurance restrictions, we cannot accept volunteers under 16 years old and group volunteers are not allowed to handle the large dogs.

Here’s an idea of what your group may be asked to do:

  • General shelter cleaning
  • Socialize kittens & puppies
  • Clean litter boxes
  • Scoop the kennels & puppy patio
  • Pick up trash around facility
  • Seasonal landscaping work

If you or your group is interested in volunteering, please complete the Group Volunteering Form and return it to Spencer Batcheller [email protected]

Please return the completed form at least 2 weeks prior to your intended volunteer date.

Foster or Volunteer?
Provide a temporary home for an animal in need.

Fostering is a wonderful experience for you and your family ‐ you can feel good knowing you have helped save an animal’s life.

Provide hands-on service at the GHHS shelter.

Volunteers can fill a variety of roles. You can volunteer in as many areas as you’d like, or focus on one particular job.